Majority of gun-related deaths among US children due to assault

Anuja Vaidya (Twitter) - Print  | 

Nearly 39,000 U.S. children, between the ages of 5 and 18 years, died due to firearm-related causes from 1999 to 2017, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Using data from the Multiple Cause of Death Files of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, researchers examined trends in deaths from firearms among U.S. schoolchildren over an eight-year period.

From 1999 to 2017, 38,942 firearm-related deaths occurred in the 5- to 18-year-old age group, with 6,464 deaths occurring in children between the ages of 5 and 14 years (5.6 percent of all deaths in that age group), and 32,478 deaths in children between the ages of 15 and 18 years (19.9 percent of all deaths in that age group).

Black children aged 5 to 14 years experienced statistically significant increases in firearm-related deaths beginning in 2013.

The listed cause of firearm-related deaths among the children were:

• Assault: 61 percent
• Suicide: 32 percent
• Accidental: 5 percent
• Undetermined: 2 percent

"It is sobering that in 2017, there were 144 police officers who died in the line of duty and about 1,000 active duty military throughout the world who died, whereas 2,462 school-age children were killed by firearms," said Charles H. Hennekens, MD, first Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor in Boca Raton-based Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine and senior author of the study.

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